It was announced today that Sterling Savings Bank branches in Astoria and Seaside will become branches of the Bank of The Pacific by the second quarter of this year along with an additional branch to be built on Marlin Avenue in Warrenton.

The company news release states "Pacific Financial Corporation (OTCBB: PFLC) (the "Company") today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Bank of the Pacific, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Aberdeen, Washington; Astoria, Oregon; and Seaside, Oregon branches of Sterling Savings Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corporation. The transaction will expand Bank of the Pacific's operations to 17 branches in Washington and 3 branches in Oregon.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bank of the Pacific will acquire approximately $50 million of deposits, paying a deposit premium of 2.77% on core in-market deposits assumed. Additionally, approximately $6 million of performing loans will be acquired.
"We are very excited about expanding our footprint with these branch locations, particularly in Oregon. This compliments nicely our current branch construction in Warrenton, Oregon and will provide our new and existing customers with added convenience and service in Clatsop County, as well as boosting our presence in Aberdeen, Washington." said Dennis Long, President and CEO.

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions of closing, is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2013. Upon completion of the acquisition, the three Sterling Bank branches will operate under the Bank of the Pacific name, and will become part of the Bank of the Pacific's branch network of locations in the Washington and Oregon coastal regions.  

KAST News contacted Eric Bjella,VP Marketing Manager with Bank of the Pacific this morning and he said the transition should be seamless for customers and, in fact may result in some lower fees for current Sterling customers.  He said the changes won't take effect effect until the acquisition has passed regulatory approvals and the new signs go up.  Bjella said that two banks use similar systems so it should be an easy matter to transfer over accounts which doesn't require customers to do anything special and he says services like debit card transactions will remain the same with the new bank name.

The news release also mentions another branch to be constructed in Warrenton.  Bjella told KAST news that the new building is planned for a lot on Marlin Avenue between the Dairy Queen and J&S Appliance and Home Furnishings  He said that project has been in the works for some time and was delayed but they are going back through the permitting processes and the project is back on track although he couldn't give an opening date as yet.

The Sterling Bank Branch building has changed hands several times over the past 30 years. First as a Far West Federal Savings and Loan branch,  then as a Washington Mutual branch and for a brief time was a branch of a small regional bank then came the acquisition of the branch by Sterling.

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